Inspired by: Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
Jon Fall arrived at his private airfield at 0600. His chauffeur parked beside his own private jet. Also, in the hanger, we’re three bombers that were being loaded with pallets of cash and four private F-16 jets for security. As soon as the car stopped, Jon tracked down the head of logistics, Frans.
“I don’t know why you insisted on overseeing this personally, Jon. Everything is going according to plan.” Frans insisted.
“We’re flying three billion dollars across the country, Frans. I’m here to make sure every cent arrives. There haven’t been any changes in personal or strange people spotted about?”
“Of course not. Everyone has been employed with us for years and have clean records.”
Jon fall just made a grunting noise that said I understand, but I’m not happy about this. Frans got the meaning and left him alone.
“Where the hell is that idiot who told me about this plot?” Jon yelled out to nobody in particular.
Within seconds Duke was brought to his side by the flight attendant, Michelle, who took it upon herself to make sure Jon will be a happy customer throughout the flight.
“There you are. Tell me again what’s going to happen?” Jon barked at Duke.
“She’s been plotting it for years. She worked on your first cash transfer to Panama.”
Jon bristled, “How I wish we were back in the dark ages when you could kill subordinates who knew your secrets.”
“Totally… well, she hired the F-16 and maintained a relationship with the mercenary company.”
“Didn’t I buy that company outright?”
“You did not. You decided it would be better to keep them as independent contractors and negotiate every shipment. It cost significantly less if you could threaten to use a different agency every time.”
“Oh, yes, that’s right. One of these planes is full of money I saved, bringing them into the company proper.”
Before Duke could answer, Michelle returned.
“Mr. Fall, your cabin is ready, and the captain says we will be taking off in a few minutes. Will your guest be joining you?”
Jon thought about it for a second before ultimately deciding, “yes.”
“Right this way, gentlemen.”
Michelle led them to the private jet that would be leading the convoy to Central America.
Duke’s eyes were as wide as saucers as he took in each and every amenity. Everywhere he turned, he saw a detail more luxurious than the last. Jon sat down like he couldn’t be bothered with any of it.
“This is the way to travel, sir.”
“This? It’s nothing, it’s like buying a bus to you, I suppose.”
“Do you mean riding the bus?”
“You don’t buy them first?”
“I usually don’t.”
“Well, whatever. What is the plan!”
The pilot came over the intercom.
“We’re cleared for take off.”
Over the next fifteen minutes, plane after plane took off from the runway. First, an F-16, followed by the private jet, then another F-16, then a bomber, and so on until they were all in the air flying south.
When they leveled off, Duke explained the heist and Michelle took drink orders.
The planes flew in a triangle formation, with an F-16 at point, the jet behind the fighter plane, then the three bombers followed by a fighter jet. Jon could see two of the bombers from his vantage point.
“I still don’t get how she’s going to take my planes. I already doubled up on the fighter jets, and each plane is full of security.”
Michelle returned and placed a drink in front of Jon.
“The problem when you don’t pay people what they deserve, they’re also looking for better deals,” Michelle said to Jon.
“I pay you for drinks. Not advice.” Jon snapped.
“Like your mercenary crew, you don’t pay me at all. I’m also an independent contractor. I have no loyalty to you. And it’s going to cost you.”
Michelle pointed out the window. Jon looked and was just in time to see the bay doors open, and one billion dollars fall from the sky.
“What’s the meaning of this?”
Michelle removed her face mask to reveal Veronica, and from her waist, she pulled out a gun.
“We’re tax collectors.”
“We? You’ve set me up, Duke!”
“I’m afraid I’m in the dark here too sir. This wasn’t the plan I read.”
“Now that I have your attention,” Veronica said, waving her gun around. “We’re taking your plane and one billion dollars.”
“You already dumped a billion dollars!”
“That’s for the great state of…where are we, Ein?” Veronica asked into her transceiver.
“There you go, you’ve finally paid your state taxes.”
“How do you plan on escaping my security. They’ll hunt you down until every last penny is returned to me.”
Veronica sat down across from Jon and took his drink. As she sipped on it, she pointed out the window on the opposite side of the plane. Jon looked out to see the bomber veer off course and the fighter pilots with it.
“You’re not loyal to them constantly negotiating their wages lower and lower. They don’t get any Fall Enterprise benefits. They’re hired guns, and I paid them a lot more than you did.”
“You are going to pay for this. I’m going to make your lives hell!”
“No, you aren’t. You’re never going to tell a soul this happened. We’re taking what 1% of your wealth? You’re really going to tell the world three people robbed you and took $3 billion? I’m sure that won’t attract any copycats.”
Jon Fall screamed maniacally as the reality of the situation sunk in.
Veronica found the parachutes she stashed before the flight.
“What is your escape plan, then?”
“We’re gonna jump. Come on, Duke.”
Duke snuck past Jon and put on the parachute bag, looking apologetic.
Duke grabbed her shoulder and asked, “Wait? What about Ein?”
Veronica shrugged and said, “what about him?” She jumped out of the plane, and Duke followed.
Jon sprinted across the cabin to corner the pilot, excited he’ll have a fall guy he could blame. He threw open the door, and the cabin was empty.
The plane was being flown remotely. Jon saw the criminals land on the bomber jet and watched it change course.
Jon began to pilot back to Beacon when the controls were seized from him.
“Sorry, Mr. Fall, but Veronica says you’re going to Panama. So I’ll be flying you to Panama.”
“Your name is Ein, right?”
“I’m going to make you all pay for this, I don’t know when or how, but I’ll get my money’s worth out of you.”